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Reliever James suspended for third time

Amphetamine, drug of abuse lands '09 first-rounder a 100-game ban
November 11, 2015

NEW YORK -- Former Rangers Minor League reliever Chad James was suspended for the third time this year on Wednesday, earning a 100-game ban after testing positive for multiple banned substances.

The Office of the Commissioner of Baseball said James, who elected free agency on Nov. 7, received a 100-game suspension without pay after a second positive test for an amphetamine, which is considered a stimulant in violation of the Minor League Drug Prevention and Treatment Program. He also tested positive a third time for a drug of abuse.

The suspension will be effective immediately upon James signing with another Major League organization.

James, 24, was suspended for 50 games on Jan. 27 after testing positive for an amphetamine. He re-signed as a free agent with the Texas Rangers a day later and was then suspended for 25 games for an undisclosed violation of the drug program on June 19. 

The 2009 first-round pick eventually made his season debut on July 16 with Double-A Frisco in the Texas League, where he finished with a 4.81 ERA and 24 strikeouts in 24 1/3 innings of relief in 13 appearances. He walked 13 and allowed three home runs.

James was the Marlins' top pick in the 2009 Draft -- he went No. 18 overall, ahead of Mike Trout -- and received a $1.7 million signing bonus. He was a non-roster invitee to Spring Training in 2011 and 2012 before receiving his first career suspension in August 2012. He was released by Miami in March 2014 and signed with the Rangers last July before going 4-3 with a 2.74 ERA in eight starts at Class A Advanced Myrtle Beach. In 109 career Minor League games, the 6-foot-3 southpaw is 22-44 with a 4.51 ERA and 425 strikeouts in 498 2/3 innings from 2010-15.

Amphetamines are considered a stimulant and a performance-enhancing substance by the Major League Baseball's Joint Drug Prevention and Treatment Program. Minor Leaguers who test positive for PEDs are subject to a 50-game suspension upon their first violation. Substances considered "drugs of abuse" by Major League Baseball include cocaine, marijuana, heroin, LSD, ecstasy and other opiates.

Major League Baseball has issued 97 suspensions to 94 players this year for violations of the Minor League drug program.

Danny Wild is an editor for Follow his MLBlog column, Minoring in Twitter.